passion in the presence

i had a friend tell me once that we are most fulfilled when our passion intersects a need.

i have fleeting moments of passion for things it seems as of late. i’ll get excited about doing something and then the excitement fades. i have grand designs on getting some things done, but then apathy or fear set in and i end up getting nothing done. i’ll hear or see something that fires me up and i’ll talk about it, then it never happens.

i mean i’m a passionate person. i know this because when i do go after something, i do it full force. i’m constantly thinking about my “want to” and lately things have been getting done because of my “have to”.  i’m deceived into believing that it will never happen, so why bother trying? i know that comes from failures in the last few years, but i don’t have a give up spirit.

i will say that i have made a commitment to get up early and read, and to write here as much as i can. now if i can just slingshot this discipline into other areas. life is too short to not run after dreams because i am lazy or afraid.

you see, i know that God is with me. sometimes i lose sight of that presence. sometimes my heart gets so heavy with other stuff, that i miss Him. but in His presence is joy. and no matter the situation, i can find that joy in Him and only Him.

so today i want to make Him my passion. i want Him to move in me to help me do those things that only i can do. i want Him to be the inspiration for the passionate life that only i can live. i will not resign myself to a life of insignificance. let’s live today. you too.

don’t run the wrong way…

i’ve been running. i thought i was running to something, but the last week i’ve figured out that i’ve been running from.

up until a few years ago, my life had been moderately successful. i was good at what i did, and was appreciated and loved by the communities that i was a part of. i had some hardship, but not too many. i would say that i lived a good average American life.

then it seems that all hell broke loose. i knew that there was more than that life. i knew that God wanted me to risk and dare to live something better. but i didn’t know how. i tried to follow this calling in me.  but every time i tried it seems i got sidetracked or shot down. fear of failure became the new norm. why even try if you are just going to fail. that became commonplace for me.

let me tell you that is a hard place to dig out of. i can’t do it. there is a lot of truth to the passage that says He pulled me out of the mirey clay and set my feet on solid ground. and David should know what he is talking about. i sit here and complain about 4-5 years of what i consider trouble. Saul chased David for 17 years trying to KILL HIM. maybe i don’t have it that bad. Joseph was a slave for 13 years and in prison for 2. what am i complaining for.

it seems maybe i am searching for peace and joy in the wrong place.

James 1:2-4

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line-mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

well that pretty much says it. i’ve been running from trouble. i don’t want it, i panic when it appears and i say how long Lord will you let this go on? as long as it takes until i embrace who i am and embrace the joy to be found in Him through the hardship. and that is where i need to run to.

are we like Elijah?

1 Kings 19 

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.There he went into a cave and spent the night.

so if you know the story, Elijah has just called down fire from heaven and has wiped out the prophets of Baal. not only that, but he has prayed for rain after a severe drought, and God answers the prayer and sends an amazing rain.  heck, Elijah even outruns Ahab’s chariot on foot.

then it all comes unraveled. he gets a threat from Jezebel and he bolts. he runs and he whines. in fact, he says he’s had enough and it’s time to die.

i feel like Elijah. i’ll have a great victory and amazing things happen, then my enemy sends a threat or does something to derail me. it seems to be that way for a lot of people i know. we let the enemy come in and steal what joy we experienced in the victory. the fact is the enemy is fighting a losing battle as he has already been defeated, but we still let him get to us.

it happened to me today. i had a great week of freedom. we had an amazing service this morning at uncommon, and then i let something that was pointless and trivial derail my day. 

but there is good news.

first of all, Elijah gets fed and is strengthened with some food from heaven. enough to be able to travel for 40 days. and now read the rest of the passage.

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before theLord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lordwas not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

so Elijah gets to stand in the presence of God and present his case to Him. how cool is that? and God comes and whispers to him and then promises him that he is not alone. so my question is, how many times do we have a victory, get derailed by our enemy and then miss the opportunity to be fed by and  stand in the presence of God. i don’t know about you, but i don’t want to miss that. in His presence is fulness of joy. that’s where i want to be.


i’ve been thinking about emotions today and how fickle they are…

i so often get betrayed by mine. it’s really a roller coaster and i feel stupid for getting caught up in them, but i just seem to get back in in the serpentine line for another ride. it’s like i hit this high and something good happens, or i make a declaration and feel really good about it, then the reality and the loneliness set in. i feel like things won’t change and i won’t be able to get out of the funk.

i know that the reality is that my feelings are quite often not the truth, but it is still how i feel. i want off of this ride as it is not very amusing. sometimes i’m just caught up in my impatience. I want to just feel some stability. i think that’s what everyone wants. 

so instead of seeking the wrong things, i want to seek joy. i want to be complete in my relationship with God and my friends and not fret so much about creating new ones. i know the Lord has a great plan for all of us and He doesn’t want us to be derailed by how we feel. so we follow Him. i want to follow Him.